What are the complications of poor nail health?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Poor nail health can indicate a variety of complications. White spots or red lines may indicate damage to the nail or an infection or underlying medical condition. Infections can cause pain and swelling in the skin around the nails. Infections may be caused by fungus or bacteria and need to be treated with medications. Dark spots may indicate melanoma, which is a serious form of skin cancer. See a doctor if you notice any changes in the color or shape of your nails.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
There are two main ways in which poor nail health can cause complications.

First, common nail disorders such as fungal infections can lead to permanent damage to your nail. Ingrown toenails can cause complications such as a bone infection if they are left untreated and allowed to worsen.

In addition, when a change in your nail health is a symptom of a more serious medical condition, ignoring it can lead to a worsening of your health.

Experts recommend talking to your doctor or dermatologist if you notice a change in your nail health that concerns you or if a nail disorder does not seem to be improving. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.